University of Louisiana at Monroe

04/04/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/04/2020 04:01

Turrentines honored for giving over $1 million to College of Business and Social Sciences

Published April 4, 2020

David and Sharon Turrentine School of Management named at ULM

David and Sharon Turrentine of Monroe and Hot Springs, Ark., recently made a gift of more than $1 million to the University of Louisiana Monroe. In recognition of their magnanimous donation, the university named the David and Sharon Turrentine School of Management in the College of Business and Social Sciences in their honor.

Sharon and David Turrentine

An event showing the university's appreciation to the Turrentines and announcing the naming of the school was held at The Terrace, hosted by the ULM Foundation and the university. Family, friends, and faculty members attended to extend their thanks.

ULM President Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D., welcomed the Turrentines, saying, 'This is quite a show of generosity, of paying it forward.'

'Gifts such as these allow the university to excel, to provide scholarships, support faculty, and build the quality of the programs, which is a continuing effort of the university,' Bruno said. 'Thank you both, Sharon and David, so much for what this gift is going to do for the university and the students.'

Before making his remarks, Ron Berry, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences, introduced Susie Cox, Ph.D., the first director of the David and Sharon Turrentine School of Management.

'If you begin to think about characteristics of people willing to donate over a million dollars, automatically you think of the words generous, successful, caring, compassionate, and impactful,' said Berry. 'The Turrentines have made an impact on the School of Management for generations to come. It is truly going to be immeasurable.'

Mr. Turrentine (BBA '67) shared his life story, noting that getting through college was not easy for him, which is the main reason he and his wife made the endowment.

'I worked my way through college. I cannot tell you how many part-time jobs I had,' Turrentine said. The problem was, he said, 'I had absolutely no time to study. I would go to school, and I would go to work. Sharon and I want to provide these scholarships so our students who receive them will have enough money, so they don't have to work like I did. They won't have to spend as much time trying to earn a living and try to pay bills. They can go to school and study. That's the bottom line of why we did this.'

'You can give people money, and they will be happy for a little while. If you give them the opportunity to go to college then their lives will be forevermore changed for the better,' Mr. Turrentine said in closing.

Sharon Turrentine, in her comments, recognized their two grandsons, Nicholas Turrentine and Dare Gueydon, both students at ULM.

'Education. It's all about education. I went to school every chance I could to improve my knowledge about what was going on in my life,' Mrs. Turrentine said. 'To be able to help untold numbers of students from this point forward with their education is just so rewarding. One of the scholarships I asked to name is the Entrepreneurial Scholarship for Women. I'm really proud of that. I know that if I would have had financial help, I would have gone much further with my local studies. Life doesn't always give you what you expect, but believe me, I have no regrets. Thank you.'

A plaque will be installed in the College of Business and Social Sciences at the David and Sharon Turrentine School of Management. A dedication ceremony will be held at a later date.

About David and Sharon Turrentine

Mr. and Mrs. Turrentine are longtime business leaders in construction, real estate, property management, and physical fitness.

While attending Northeast Louisiana State College, now ULM, David worked part-time for Mid-South Homes, owned by Standard Enterprises. After graduating in 1967, he joined Standard Enterprises. In 1978, David and three partners purchased the business, which develops, builds, owns, buys, and manages apartment projects.

Today, the Turrentines' son, Mark, is president of the company, and David serves as board chairman. Standard owns and/or manages some 6,000 apartment units in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas and employs 275 people.

Sharon Griffith Turrentine is a native of Monroe, and like her husband, graduated from Ouachita Parish High School. She studied at Northeast Louisiana State College then attended the University of Houston in vocal performance. Sharon continued her vocal studies at Columbia University in New York City. She performed nightly in Greenwich Village and worked full-time at an advertising agency. Sharon returned to Monroe and put her advertising experience to work at her father's radio and television stations.

Sharon and David married in 1975.

In the 1970s, Sharon developed a passion for physical fitness, including weight training and competitive body-building. For nine years, her program 'Shape Up With Sharon' aired on KNOE-TV. Her company designed physical fitness programs for women, and she trained contestants from every state for the Miss America Pageant.

Sharon was appointed to the Louisiana Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and also taught weight lifting for women and water aerobics at ULM. Now retired, Sharon continues to motivate women to stay active at any age.